Definitions of “Liberal Arts”: 1

Carl Edgar Blake II, Iowa pig farmer:

““I can build a motorcycle, I can fly a model airplane, I can throw somebody out of a bar, I can wrestle a pig and I can program a computer…”

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2 Responses to Definitions of “Liberal Arts”: 1

  1. ted whalen says:

    Oooh! I’ve got one! Thomas Cromwell, as described in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall:

    It is said he knows by heart the entire New Testament in Latin, and so as a servant of the cardinal is apt—ready with a text if abbots flounder. His speech is low and rapid, his manner assured; he is at home in courtroom or waterfront, bishop’s palace or inn yard. He can draft a contract, train a falcon, draw a map, stop a street fight, furnish a house, and fix a jury. He will quote you a nice point in the old authors, from Plato to Plautus and back again. He knows new poetry, and can say it in Italian. He works all hours, first up and last to bed. He makes money and he spends it. He will take a bet on anything.

  2. Blue says:

    I always thought that bit in Wolf Hall was the 16th century version of the Heinlein quotation about the definition of a competent human being :

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. — Robert A. Heinlein `Time Enough for Love’ 1973 p.248

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